Tag Archives: American Bar Association

Saudi Arabia/USA: Saudi lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair to receive 2019 ABA International Human Rights Award

June 21, 2019

Image result for waleed abu al-khair

The American Bar Association announced today that it will honor Saudi lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair with its 2019 ABA International Human Rights Award in recognition of his work to advance human rights and advocate for justice in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The award will be presented during a dinner at the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco, August 8, 7:30 p.m. at the Westin St. Francis Hotel.

The International Human Rights Award was established to honor and give public recognition to a lawyer, human rights luminary or international human rights organization that has made an exceptional contribution to the advancement of human rights outside of the United States. The award is given on behalf of the ABA Center for Human RightsSection of International LawSection of Civil Rights and Social JusticeSection of Litigation and Rule of Law Initiative.

Abu al-Khair is the founder of Monitor for Human Rights, one of only a few human rights organizations in Saudi Arabia, which he established in 2008, just a year after he began practicing law. As an attorney, Abu al-Khair dedicated his career to defending human rights and the right to freedom of expression, even after government authorities banned him in 2009 from representing specific defendants in courts. Abu al-Khair also used his legal background to advocate for an elected parliament, independent judiciary and other democratic reforms in Saudi Arabia.

https://www.americanbar.org/news/abanews/aba-news-archives/2019/06/saudi-lawyer-waleed-abu-al-khair-to-receive-2019-aba-internation/

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/04/15/saudi-arabia-5-years-activist-still-behind-bars

Abu al-Khair to receive ABA Award

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waleed_Abulkhair

https://www.hrw.org/fr/news/2019/04/15/arabie-saoudite-cinquieme-annee-de-prison-pour-lactiviste-waleed-abu-al-khair (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waleed_Abu_al-Khair (FRANCAIS)

Turkey: Why we need to support lawyers in Turkey

April 10, 2019

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An attempted coup in Turkey in July 2016 was followed by a purge of lawyers, judges, journalists, opposition politicians, academics and civil servants. Estimates vary, but up to 150,000 people were dismissed, with thousands prosecuted and imprisoned. Amongst them over 1,500 lawyers, including many presidents of provincial bar associations, have been prosecuted and over 200 convicted of terrorist-related offences. Many face long jail sentences. The number grows daily.

The Law Society has been heavily involved in supporting persecuted lawyers. This has been through making interventions on behalf of individual lawyers, and through working jointly with the IBA Human Rights Institute, the Bar Human Rights Committee and Turkish lawyers to make detailed representations to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers.

Human Rights Watch today publishes an important report highlighting cases in which lawyers have been unjustifiably prosecuted and making detailed recommendations as to what the Turkish state should do to remedy violations against lawyers. It also proposes steps which it feels that the national bar association, the Union of Turkish Bars, should do to better support its members.

Judges and lawyers are of course always at the centre of efforts to ensure that the citizen is properly represented when charged with crimes by the state; that the rule of law is upheld; and that fundamental rights and freedoms are respected. These roles have been described as one of the ‘guardrails of democracy’ by Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt in their book ‘How Democracies Die’. When the guardrails come loose, democracy itself is threatened. Persecution of lawyers and judges, evidenced by attacks in state sponsored media, threats, investigations and prosecutions are becoming almost a template of oppression in authoritarian regimes. Rattling the guardrail until it detaches results in democratic safeguards being rendered impotent.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/commentary-and-opinion/why-we-need-to-support-the-lawyers-in-turkey/5069865.article

https://ahvalnews.com/human-rights/turkish-authorities-undermine-right-fair-trial-targeting-lawyers-rights-group?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook&fbclid=IwAR2epc77t4e3ToA7aQVbVUXWhJMlqvKRXdThto-khd38LbkeNjjtByJrg9c

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/international/turkey-accused-of-systematic-assault-on-legal-profession-/5069939.article

https://www.americanbar.org/groups/gpsolo/publications/gp_solo/2014/january-february/giving_back_lawyers_under_attack_turkey/

https://www.voanews.com/a/turkey-human-rights/4869478.html

http://bianet.org/english/law/207321-hrw-report-on-lawyers-in-turkey-they-feel-like-extras-in-hearings

Saudi Arabia: Nomination of Waleed Abu al-Khair for the 2019 ABA International Human Rights Award | Joint Letter

March 29, 2019

Waleed Abu al-Khair, unlawfully imprisoned for his work as a human  rights lawyer since 15 April 2014, has been nominated for the 2019
American Bar Association Human Rights Award jointly by LRWC, Lawyers for  Lawyers, Union Internationale des Avocats and the Law Society of England  and Wales.

JOINT NOMINATION LETTER

In accordance with the request of the American Bar Association (ABA) for nominees for the 2019 ABA International Human Rights Award, the following organizations —Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L), the Law Society of England and Wales (LSEW) and the Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA) —recommend and nominate human rights lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair of Saudi Arabia for the 2019 ABA International Human Rights Award.

Waleed Abu al-Khair is one of the best-known advocates for democratic and human rights reform in Saudi Arabia.  He has used the written and spoken word coupled with his legal knowledge to fearlessly advocate for reforms to improve the lives of all in Saudi Arabia by calling on the Government of Saudi Arabia to allow its citizens to enjoy internationally protected rights to freedom of expression, association, assembly and the right to participate directly and indirectly in public affairs.  He has done this work through writing and public speaking, by representing causes and clients unpopular with the Government of Saudi Arabia, by providing a safe space for peaceful discussion of issues of public concern and by providing people with an example of responsible advocacy for justice for all.  At the risk of his own personal and professional safety and security, Waleed Abu al-Khair persisted in using his training and skills as a lawyer to be an outspoken advocate for an elected parliament, an independent judiciary, a constitutional monarchy and recognition of internationally protected human rights. He has also advocated on behalf of prisoners of conscience and written many articles identifying human rights abuses and the need for legal reform. He recommended reliance on the rule of law and proper legal procedures to effect reform and settle disputes and differences of opinion and never advocated or used violence as a means of opposition.

https://www.lrwc.org/saudi-arabia-nomination-of-waleed-abu-al-khair-for-the-2019-aba-international-human-rights-award-joint-letter/

https://www.lrwc.org/saudi-arabia-waleed-abu-al-khair-update-wgad/

https://www.lrwc.org/saudi-arabia-arbitrary-detention-of-samar-badawi-working-paper/

https://www.ifex.org/saudi_arabia/2019/03/25/al-qahtani-mistreatment/

https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/434752-senate-dems-petition-saudi-king-to-release-dissidents-us-citizen

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waleed_Abulkhair

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waleed_Abu_al-Khair (FRANCAIS)

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USA/Germany: Book about Jewish lawyers targeted in Nazi Germany resonates today

November 2018

As Adolf Hitler rose to power in Nazi Germany, the first casualty was the rule of law. The Third Reich’s ensuing purge included systematically targeting “undesirables,” including Jewish lawyers, crippling their ability to practice law.

Lawyers Without Rights: The Fate of Jewish Lawyers in Berlin after 1933 by Simone Ladwig-Winters is a chilling portrait, through photos and narratives, of how Jewish lawyers and jurists were degraded and debarred as the Holocaust began. Attorneys were arrested, imprisoned or forced to flee the country.

The book has a directory of 1,404 attorneys of Jewish origin during the war.

 

The book, first published in 2007, describes the terrors experienced by Jewish attorneys, including Alfred Apfel, who was arrested and later fled to France after being labeled one of the “traitors to the German people”; Ludwig Barbasch, imprisoned for six months and stripped of his license; and Hans Litten, who spent years in concentration camps until his suicide.

Lawyers Without Rights is about remembrance and honoring Jewish lawyers during this time, and it is also a cautionary tale for the world today. To reach a wider audience, the book was translated from German by the American Bar Association this year in partnership with the German Federal Bar.

“Too many non-Jewish lawyers in Germany during the Nazi era stood by and were not vigilant,” says ABA President Bob Carlson. “That is the first lesson from the 1930s. We cannot do nothing. The slippery slope starts when the rights of lawyers to practice their profession and defend against oppression are compromised.”

The German Federal Bar created the “Lawyers Without Rights: Jewish Lawyers in Germany under the Third Reich” exhibit in the late 1990s after researching the fate of Jewish lawyers during World War II.

http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/book_about_jewish_lawyers_targeted_in_nazi_germany_resonates_today?fbclid=IwAR25O138WwuW_UR4h8JEr_ozqq7goh-xfP8LSgA-B95VuwR-ZqUqtVUUxsM

https://lawyerswithoutrights.com/

https://lawyerswithoutrights.com/Exhibition/index.html

http://www.anwalt-ohne-recht.de/Panels_neu_1_12.pdf

https://www.americanbar.org/products/inv/book/316237987/

http://www.tacomadailyindex.com/blog/aba-releases-holocaust-era-book-on-nazi-purge-of-jewish-lawyers-in-berlin/2444216/

http://www.abajournal.com/

http://jewishobservernashville.org/2018/05/02/lawyers-without-rights-exhibit-opens/

https://www.lbi.org/2004/12/lawyers-without-rights-jewish-lawyers-in-germany-after-1933/

ABA Journal - When Lawyers Disappeared

China/USA: How Lawyer Wang Yu Was Made to Denounce the American Bar Association’s Human Rights Award in 2016

May 9, 2018

Wang Yu taken to studio black-hooded for 2nd confession

On July 9, 2015, Wang Yu (王宇) became the first target in a campaign of mass arrests against human rights lawyers in China. Over the next roughly two weeks, over 300 rights lawyers were arrested, interrogated, detained, and threatened — thus begetting the notorious ‘709 Incident.’ After over a month in secret detention at a black site in Beijing, Wang Yu was transferred to Tianjin for a continuation of her detention, then under so-called ‘residential surveillance at a designated place’ (指定居所監視居住). For over a year she was not allowed to see her lawyer, family, or communicate with the outside world. Another 20 or so lawyers and activists, including Wang Yu’s husband Bao Longjun (包龍軍), were given similar treatment. During the secret detention and their time in detention centers, they were severely tortured, including by sleep deprivation, prolonged interrogation, forced-feeding with unidentified drugs, beatings, insults, being hand- and foot-cuffed, or having their family’s safety threatened. Some were even placed in cages submerged in water, so-called ‘water cage’ torture. Currently, three individuals are serving prison sentences, three were released on suspended sentences, and all others except one were released on a probationary form of ‘bail.’  Lawyer Wang Quanzhang (王全璋) has been detained for over 1,000 days, neither sentenced nor released, and no one even knows whether he is dead or alive.

In August 2016, Wang Yu and her husband were released on a probationary form of bail (取保候審), whereupon they were forcibly taken to an apartment building in Ulanhot, Inner Mongolia. There they were reunited with their son, Bao Zhuoxuan (包卓轩), who had previously been coercively removed from Beijing and placed in Ulanhot to continue high-school. In Ulanhot, their movements were closely monitored, they were followed wherever they went, and their apartment was fitted out with an extensive array of surveillance cameras that pointed to their doorway, stairs and in and out of the building entrance. Wang Yu believed that the apartment itself was bugged too. Around a year later they were allowed to return to their own home in Beijing. Now, though they’re apparently ‘free,’ every move they make is still surveilled by the authorities, and Wang Yu has been unable to resume her profession as a lawyer.

Among China’s human rights lawyers, Wang Yu has been called the ‘Goddess of War.’ Prior to the 709 crackdown, she traveled the country taking on all manner of human rights cases. The image of Wang the lawyer in the ‘Hooligan Sparrow’ documentary, handing out fliers about the law under the beating sun in Hainan, left a deep impression of her commitment.

On July 8, 2016, the American Bar Association announced that it had selected Wang Yu to receive its inaugural ABA International Human Rights Award, “in recognition of her dedication to human rights, justice and the rule of law in China.” This news seemed to rattle the Communist Party. The authorities knew perfectly well that the 709 crackdown was an illegal, politically motivated large-scale persecution of human rights lawyers, and that the cruelty of torture methods they used exceed what most people can conceive. They fear the moral support that the international community was extending to the targets of their attacks.

How Lawyer Wang Yu Was Made to Denounce the American Bar Association’s Human Rights Award in 2016

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/chinese_lawyer_wang_yu_given_inaugural_aba_international_human_rights_award

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/chinese_lawyer_wang_yu_given_inaugural_aba_international_human_rights_award

https://biglawbusiness.com/aba-to-honor-imprisoned-chinese-human-rights-lawyer/

http://sampan.org/2016/07/chinese-lawyer-wang-yu-to-receive-inaugural-american-bar-association-international-human-rights-award/

https://qz.com/1129837/human-rights-lawyer-wang-yu-on-year-of-secret-detention-in-china/

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Comment/China-s-TV-confessions-bring-Darkness-at-Noon-into-21st-century

https://www.hongkongfp.com/2018/05/13/son-everything-china-forced-lawyer-wang-yu-denounce-human-rights-award/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wang_Yu_(lawyer)

https://www.americanbar.org/aba.html

https://www.americanbar.org/groups/international_law/initiatives_awards/international_legal_resource_center/human-rights-award.html

Egypt/Day of the Endangered Lawyer: SCC honorary chairman appointed to CRCICA board

February 9, 2018

ALB

LIFE AFTER REVOLUTION

One aspect of the changing market for legal services relates to relations between government and civil society groups and lawyers, showing.  Egypt is not without its problems, particularly for lawyers practicing in Egypt.

Some Egyptian lawyers have been denied the rights to a fair trial and freedom of expression and assembly because of broad security legislation passed since 2013, as well as facing travel bans and prosecution for carrying out their professional duties, in support of human rights.

On 24 January 2018, the International Day of the Endangered Lawyer, which focuses on the rule of law issues in the legal profession internationally, was dedicated to Egypt. The American Bar Association (ABA) and both the English and Welsh legal representative bodies, as well as a consortium of international lawyers, spoke out, calling for the role of lawyers and the rule of law to be respected in the country.

In a statement released local time, ABA president Hillary Bass said that lawyers should be able “to work without intimidation, harassment or improper interference and to ensure that they are adequately safeguarded when their security is threatened”, citing United Nations principles justifying such protection. Those taking comfort from Franke’s appointment will hope that Egypt addresses those concerns, as well as promoting its ability to resolve those of investors.

https://www.africanlawbusiness.com/news/7941-scc-honorary-chairman-appointed-to-crcica-board

 

Colombia/ABA: Colombian lawyer Patricia Guerrero to receive the 2017 ABA International Human Rights Award

July 24, 2017

The American Bar Association will honor Colombian lawyer Patricia Guerrero with its 2017 ABA International Human Rights Award in recognition of her long record of defending victims of sexual violence and women who are displaced by the Colombian armed conflict. The award will be presented to Guerrero at the International Distinguished Guests Dinner on Aug.10 at 6:30 p.m. at the Rockefeller Plaza Rainbow Room during the ABA Annual Meeting in New York City.

Guerrero, a feminist activist and former judge, is the founder and director of the League of Displaced Women (Liga de Mujeres Desplazadas), an independent nonprofit organization that advocates for protections for women who have been forced to flee their homes because of the country’s armed conflict.

Guerrero has fought for access to justice and the rights of displaced women and their families through aggressive political and legal advocacy, ensuring not only legal representation for victims, but also fighting for laws that protect and help them rebuild their lives. Despite often grave opposition from paramilitary forces, Guerrero is committed to aiding women impacted by the decades-long conflict.

“We honor Patricia Guerrero’s steadfast commitment to advocate for the rights of internally displaced women and children and to ensure justice for gender-based violence committed during Colombia’s civil war,” said ABA President Linda Klein. “Her achievements are particularly extraordinary given the tremendous obstacles, intimidation and threats that she and the League of Displaced Women have faced.”

The ABA International Human Rights Award was established to honor and give public recognition to an individual or an entity that has made an exceptional contribution to the advancement of human rights outside of the United States. The recipient is selected jointly by the ABA’s Center for Human Rights, the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice, the Section of International LawSection of Litigation and the Rule of Law Initiative.

https://www.americanbar.org/news/abanews/aba-news-archives/2017/07/colombian_lawyerpat.html

https://nobelwomensinitiative.org/meet-patricia-guerrero-colombia/

https://www.inclusivesecurity.org/experts/patricia-guerrero/

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@PatriciaGuerrero avocate colombienne qui défend droits humains et plus particulièrement droits des femmes , femme engagée, honorée par #ABA

(Dominique Attias Facebook)

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Hon. Bernice B. Donald (left), Chair, ABA Center for Human Rights, with Patricia Guerrero, of Colombia, 2017 ABA International Human Rights Awardee, Rainbow Room, Rockefeller Center, New York, NY

(American Bar Association Center for Human Rights Facebook)